'Facilitate voting for teachers on polling duty'

HARARE - The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) has urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Priscilla Chigumba to urgently facilitate that all teachers recruited as polling officers are enabled to vote.

In a letter addressed to Chigumba yesterday, Artuz president Obert Masaraure said some teachers would be deployed far away from the polling stations which they were registered in.

“Artuz notes that according to the Electoral Act, Zec recruited both primary and secondary school teachers to be polling officers in the forthcoming general elections.
We have established that some teachers who were recruited as polling officers were deployed far away from the polling stations they were duly registered during the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) process which practically makes it impossible for them to vote in the July 30, 2018 general elections.

“Artuz is a clearly interested party in this process as it has a legitimate interest to represent a constituency of teachers who fall under its membership in that process.

“It is against this background that we request your office to urgently facilitate that all teachers recruited as polling officers and displaced from their polling stations are enabled to vote.”

Masaraure said teachers who will be polling officers must exercise their franchise rights as enshrined in the Constitution “Our request is made in terms Chapter 4, Part 2 of the Declaration of Rights in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, particularly political rights in terms of Section 67 (3) (a) which guarantees that every Zimbabwean citizen who is of or over eighteen years of age has the right to vote in all elections and referendums to which the or any other law applies, and to do so in secret,” he said.

Under the new BVR system, eligible voters are required to cast their ballots at a particular polling station within their wards instead of voting at any centre across the country as was the case before.

Zec has hired civil servants such as teachers and police officers to conduct the elections as well as provide security during the duration of the election period.

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